WIA: Karen Campbell
Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of the industry's most influential female executives.
How did you get into this? What in your background prepared you for what you're doing now?
I happened into this industry quite by chance. I have a background in accounting and while working on getting a client's books caught up for tax purposes, they decided to start an online billing company to supplement their adult paysites. Shortly thereafter I found myself doing sales for the billing company, customer service for the paysites and accounting for both companies. As the billing company grew, eventually the paysites went by the wayside and here I am with more than 10 years in the billing side of the adult industry, now working for OrbitalPay, as AVP of Business Development.
What changes have affected your work since you started it?
The billing side of the adult industry has gone through many changes, most of which were mandated by the various credit card associations. In the beginning — what they refer to as the Wild West days of adult — it was a free for all. If you could get a merchant account, you could pretty much process whatever came in. Then American Express said, "No more adult." Not too long after that, Visa and MasterCard started registering all adult accounts as "high risk." That presented some challenges in working within their guidelines. The other changes in billing have been in keeping up with what the webmasters need.
What changes have affected your work as the Internet has gone from exotic to commonplace?
Since 1998, when I started in the industry and the Internet was fairly new, there was a steeper learning curve to educate companies that wanted to be able to sell online. Now the adult webmasters and companies — who have been selling online for quite some time now — understand the logistics, importance for fraud controls and other aspects that had to be learned slowly and often by trial and error. In that aspect it has made my job much easier.
What do you see as the challenges to online adult enterprises as the economy tends to decline and discretionary spending slows?
I believe that online adult entertainment — even in the face of economic decline — still offers a very good entertainment value to consumers. As people focus on staying home and reducing expenses the quality of the online content allows for that little bit of escape from reality that everyone seems to need these days.
Does your work affect your personal life?
I feel if you are dedicated to your work it always has some effect on your personal life. In my case, the effect on mine has been positive. It has allowed me to travel and meet some amazing people and grow as an individual. It has also been an education. I have learned a lot and broadened my knowledge of business and gained vast experience.
Do you have a personal motto or slogan that you follow?
"I think I can, I think I can."
You know, that little choo-choo train that thought he could.
To me it is all about being positive and not allowing obstacles that may be in my way stop me — and, most importantly, to believe in myself.